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A Better Finder?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the falling-on-deaf-ears dept.

OS X 490

Build6 writes "Ars Technica opens today with another one of their deeply-thought-out articles relating to MacOS X issues, pointing out another thing which the old MacOS had and the current one doesn't."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Full Mirror (-1, Informative)

slashcacher (610665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644282)

Re:Full Mirror (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644667)

It's offtopic, but what the hell.

You know, slashdot has very specific reasons for not caching web pages, ranging from bandwidth usage to the fact that a page might update in the middle of a slashdotting.

Shifting the bandwidth usage onto Sourceforge, in particular, seems a bit dumb - they are run by the same company. If Slashdot can't financially justify caching, what makes you think SourceForge can.

Oh, and I'd note that ars technica is not one that's going to get slashdotted anytime soon :)


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644287)

One in three Frenchmen supports Saddam!

a better finder? (-1, Troll)

muyuubyou (621373) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644308)

Maybe to find Apple's market share.

Now seriously, I've been thinking in buying a Mac to port software to MacOS... I wish they had some more market share so my decission would be a bit safer.

Re:a better finder? (2, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644357)

Now seriously, I've been thinking in buying a Mac to port software to MacOS... I wish they had some more market share so my decission would be a bit safer.

Actually, a smaller market share means fewer potential competitors that you will have to worry about. In the Windows market, you have to worry about competing with dozens of other developers and companies. There are many other advantages to developing for OS X as well, and if your code is already written for another UNIX platform, in many cases, much of the code can be brought over through a simple recompile. I am running code originally written for SGI that was simply recompiled for OS X and it runs in an X windows environment. Easy peasy.

Re:a better finder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644491)

Actually, a smaller market share means fewer potential competitors

Congratulations!! You have the most idiotic post of the day! If there are 1,000 mac users and 10 mac vendors then there are 100 users per vendor. If there are 20,000 PC users and 200 PC vendors then there are 100 users per vendor. Obviously this is a simplified example but having a smaller customer base does not decrease competition.

Re:a better finder? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644693)

Both of your posts are over simplifications. The number of customers is irrelevant. It is the revenue and profit that can be generated from the customer base that are important. If Mac vendors can expect $10 per customer in revenue and $3 in profit, they make $10,000 and $3,000, respectively (Apple's own profit is about 30% of revenue).

Windows vendors generate the same $10,000 in revenue, but only clear 8% profit (or even less, in many cases), because of a crowded and much more competitive environment (ie, competitive pressures among 200 vendors than 10 vendors is a very differenct competitive landscape). Therefore, the PC vendors each generates only $800 of profit from the same $10,000 of revenue. That is why Gateway and Apple can have similar revenue lines but vastly different returns and cash reserves (eg, Gateway is bankrupt and Apple is flush with cash). That is why the MacBU at Microsoft is one of the most profitable centers for MS. It is an important reason why Mercedes and BMW are so profitable, but GM and Ford struggle. Being small and addressing a smaller market can be a much better strategy than being all things to all people.

Re:a better finder? (2, Interesting)

reiggin (646111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644359)

Ok, I'll bite. If you're porting useful software to the Mac, there's no need to give that pudgy comment about "more market share." Useful software sells on the Mac. Heck, sometimes even seemingly un-useful software sells (Konfabulator?). I don't think a small business software designer (which I assume you are) needs to worry about Apple having 5% marketshare verses 15% or 20% marketshare. You'll sell just as much either way, most likely.

Re:a better finder? (1)

derch (184205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644490)

Yes, it'd be nice if the Mac market was a little larger. However, the Mac market is more tightly knit and word of new, cool, and useful software travels quickly.

When Konfabulator came out, I had three different people tell me about it. I've told several people about WeatherPop, and they've downloaded and used it. Same with NetNewsWire, Fire, and Watson. Because of the fewer Mac titles, there's less competition, too.

Evil bit support (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644312)

pointing out another thing which the old MacOS had and the current one doesn't.

Evil bit support? Support for the One BSD to Rule them All (even though they are all dying)? The Foreman iGrill? Volkswagens? Red and blue lasers? Sharks?

Re:Evil bit support (5, Informative)

Build6 (164888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644400)

I guess I shoulda made this more clear in my initial submission.

I think the primary thing that the old MacOS had that the current one doesn't, is good handling of file metadata. I think most people who come from a Windows/x86 background don't really understand how magical it is to have a file system that, for example, can allow for different files of essentially the same "file type" yet be launched by different apps (file "creator" and file "type" tags exist).

This was discussed in Ars Technica quite a while back, as well: ad ata-1.html

And, this "other thing" I'm talking about is a (properly) spatial finder.

Re:Evil bit support (4, Interesting)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644563)

When I first tried a Mac it frustrated me that I didn't have the type of control that I was used to on Windows. I couldn't make a certain program open a file by renaming it. The icon of a file would change when it was saved by a different program. Because I was used to working with text documents that could be opened by a variety of programs, this really confused me.

Eventually I learned about the different meta-data types and how to edit them. If anything, I found that the Mac had several power user features too well hidden for me.

Metadata benefits (1)

Shrac (620774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644602)

I for one understand it, and I can't wait until a version of NTFS comes out that steals the idea. :) Well, either that or an x86 port of Jaguar.

Re:Metadata benefits (3, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644698)

NTFS already has it, no one uses it because hidden metadata is a stupid idea that breaks all the time. As someone who works with Mac OS 9 clients and Unix servers, I can tell you it's a lame and unnecessary hack, designed to compensate for incompetant users.

Do a google search for "alternate data streams NTFS"

Re:Evil bit support (2, Insightful)

sjonke (457707) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644657)

I think most people who come from a Windows/x86 background don't really understand how magical it is to have a file system that, for example, can allow for different files of essentially the same "file type" yet be launched by different apps (file "creator" and file "type" tags exist)

So magical, indeed, that it would, not infrequently get corrupted and lose track of what was what and you'd end up with documents of certain types looking like generic, unknown documents that in some cases couldn't be opened by anything except BBEdit. The especially cool thing is that then you got to use an equally magical "rebuild the desktop" startup key combination that, again not infrequently, didn't do any good. I had documents that stayed generic up until I switched to OS X. Then it was easy to fix the problem and get it to open with the right application using the Get Info window on the file in question.

Moreover the argument was bogus to start with. In OS X you can set any file to be opened by any application regardless of what the default application is for that file type. I can set a particular .jpg to open in Preview even if the default is still GraphicConverter. I can also easily change the default application as well. This is essentially the same thing, except that it's reliable and easier to use.

To add to the OS X crunchiness, I have graphic files (JPG, GIF, PS, etc) open in Gimp by using an AppleScript application/droplet as a conduit of sorts to Gimp under X11. I just set my script as the default app for those file types. Nifty.

Yours miserably (like that arstechnica guy),


Re:Evil bit support (1)

Cyno (85911) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644708)

Well, with KDE right now I can right click on any file and tell it to open with any application on the system.

I guess you can do this with Win2k, too, but I prefer KDE.

For example I wrote a script to automaticly loopback mount my cdrom isos into a directory and open a konqueror window. As soon as I exit the window the loopback filesystem is unmounted. Then I right click and I have an option to burn the iso onto a CD. That was another script I wrote that automaticly burns an entire directory of ogg or mp3 files onto an audio CD as well.

I think it might be more useful to have these type of scripts integrated into the system instead of writing more ways to automate the openning of an application or file.

It might be nice to have that metadata but things like locate should be run at a nice level 19 and those types of extensions to a filesystems are not required to have a usable workstation. They might make it nicer for some people but for people like me they might also just get in the way.

I've used OS9 and its not entirely bad, but I'd never want that running on my workstation.

I don't agree with the article (5, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644313)

It is easy to criticize. I use OS X about 80% of the time, Linux/KDE about 15%, and Windows 2000 about 5%. OS X, in my opinion, gives the best desktop experience.

Any desktop uses a spacial metaphor for data - however, for me, the desktop is just a holding area - short term memory, if you will.

I do like the idea of other means of filtering: LifeStreams seems like a good idea: being able to filter based on time and document type (for example).

Anyway, it is a free world - I will stick with OS X.


Re:I don't agree with the article (2, Interesting)

Build6 (164888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644444)

Well I'm not saying I am going to "abandon OS X" (and I don't think the article writer is?) but the point is... it could be so much better, you know? (at least for me) OS X would be *perfect* if on top of the new UNIX innards there was a "classic" theme where OS X acted exactly like the old macOS. I'm not saying I'll never switch to the existing OS X/Aqua UI, but I certainly miss the old MacOS.

yes, I dual-boot my Macs and I still use OS9. Am looking warily at the new generation of machines that won't boot OS9, although apparently there are some indications that special ROM files are available to Apple service providers that would allow OS9 bootability even on those not "officially" OS9 bootable.

Re:I don't agree with the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644447)

" LifeStreams seems like a good idea: being able to filter based on time and document type (for example)." .. This is new? WIndows (that OS you use 5% of the time - obviously) has had this since like windows 95. Start , Search "for files". Could it be easier?

could be better (Re:I don't agree with the articl) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644455)

The author isn't saying that it sucks, just that from a usability point of view he believes that earlier Mac OS versions (Mac OS <= 9) were better.

Apple has (arguably) one of the best UIs around, the author is simply saying that they could do better. The article is a list of stuff that could be done to improve what's already there.

Re:I don't agree with the article (4, Insightful)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644465)

Yeah I remember lifestreams and I agree it's a fantastic idea. I'd love to see it developed further!

I also appreciate (sincerely!) the criticisms of OS X one finds at Ars. They are consistently thorough and honest. Still, sometimes it seems like OS X is held to a far higher standard with regard to UI than other products. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Linux (any flavor) or Windows (any flavor) has recieved nearly the same amount of scrutiny and criticism with regard to UI. Why is that? Is it simply because Apple brags about it so much? Is it a recognition that Apple does it best (usually) and therefore it is fair that they should be evaluated based on that claim? I suspect that this is the reason.

I fear, however, that it gives the casual Windows or Linux-using reader the wrong impression - the impression that OS X UI stinks. It doesn't. It's a relatively new UI and needs refinement, but as I said, I believe the level of criticism leveled at it is mostly due to the recognized fact that Apple does it better than most others.

Expectations (1)

Shrac (620774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644641)

I think it is definitely because of the fact that Apple is known for/touts the UI in its products. More specifically though, people pay a high premium to get the Mac UI, and are therefore less forgiving of its faults.

How did this get modded to 5? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644476)

It is easy to criticize. I use OS X about 80% of the time, Linux/KDE about 15%, and Windows 2000 about 5%. OS X, in my opinion, gives the best desktop experience.
So the environment you work in the overwhelming majority of the time (and thus the one to which you are the most acclimatized) is, in your personal, anecdotal opinion, ubsubstantiated by any actual arguments, the best one. Congratulations.
Any desktop uses a spacial metaphor for data - however, for me, the desktop is just a holding area - short term memory, if you will.
Uh... this article is about the Finder. The Finder is an application, not a "desktop".
Anyway, it is a free world - I will stick with OS X.
Uh... where in the article did anyone ask you to switch? A "free world" (a phrase which is demonstrably false to the extent that it's even meaningful) doesn't mean "best of all possible worlds, so let's stop working on software."

He's dead on. (1, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644527)

Everything the author said would make life using a Mac easier, more productive and significantly more intuitive.

Watch out, someone might be moving your cheese.

Was he mauled by Saddam? (-1, Offtopic)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644577)

Was Dubya in this picture [] mauled by Saddam? No, it was just a Pretzel [] ! Lesson (not) learned: never attempt to eat a bigger piece than you can swallow!

Re:I don't agree with the article (1)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644711)

I think even the author would agree with you that Mac OSX offers the best desktop experience. That's why we need to criticize Mac OSX... because it's the leader. Criticizing Windows, KDE and others is easy (and pointless): "make your OS more like Mac OSX and call me when your there".

mac problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644317)

I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:mac problem (1, Informative)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644399)

"I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that."

8600 you say? a computer made in 1995? I don't think anyone would ever expect an 8 year old computer to do things as fast as one today. Plus, IIRC, that computer has a blistering 5MB/sec SCSI bus internally, not exactly made for fast file transfers (in today's terms). Try the same transfer on anything made in 1997+ (with the ATA bus in it) and I think you will see a huge difference. Not to mention your computer seems pretty hackneyed, there was no 8600 with a 300MHz proc. I guess you may have upgraded to a G3 (or worse yet a 300MHz 604), but it is still on OLD computer and if you are trying to use OSX on it (read not supported), don't judge it.

Re:mac problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644420)


Re:mac problem (1)

luzrek (570886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644480)

He is compairing it to a smiliarly price PC from the same point in time. That is a valid comparison. However, it is offtopic since this is supposed to be about the finder.

I don't know why people on both sides of the MAC vs WIntel debate are always tring to compair based on what X Mac does vs what Y PC does when X Mac costs $5000 and Y PC costs $2000. MacAdict had a laughable coverstory allong the lines of "Mac beats Windows in performance" and when you read it it turned out they were compairing $7k and $10k Macs to two $2k PCs (a Dell and a Gateway). People should be saying, "I really like my computer and use it all the time, that's why it is better than yours." Then, they respect eachother's opinions since both poeple can be right. Of course both camps are wrong, GNU/Linux is the way to go 8-)

Magazine year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644534)

That article was from the summer of 1997.

8600/300 was real, here's info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644553)

8600/300 info [] . Guess what, it's a real machine and it had a 300mhz 604e - which was *damn* fast for its time.

All 8600-class machines had 2 SCSI buses: a 5MB/sec external bus and a 10MB/sec internal bus. The same holds true for the 7x00-class machines, and I think the 9x00s too.

Also, notice that the OP said that his PPro 200 was faster. That's *also* 8 years old or whatever. It's not like he's comparing the 8600 to an Athlon XP w/ SATA.

Even though you were completely wrong about everything you said, we appreciate the effort. Thanks for playin.


Re:mac problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644587)

I think i`ll have to point out that my old amiga a1500 could transfer said 17meg file with no problems ,wut your saying at 16mhz 68000? Yup i`ll say,and if memory servs thats pre 1995.

Re:mac problem troll (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644414)

I love this one.

Re:mac problem (1)

ecchi_0 (647240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644419)

It's an old mac not running OS X. What's your point? (plus this is a troll I've seen a couple of times...)

Re:mac problem (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644428)

I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

I'd rather hear some intellingent arguments rather than some very lame ones using outdated, unsupported hardware for current positions. That's just ignorant and pointless. Of course your NT 4 box is going to outperform a 8600 running OS 8.5 or 9. AND if you're running OS X on that... shame on you! Put Linux on it if you want a fair hardware comparison to that NT4. We all already know and admit that everything before OS X sucks. We dont need to be reminded. And, again, if you were talking about OS X, stop. You can't make legit comments on OS X sucking if you're not running it on recommended hardware.

Did I just get hooked by a troll?

Re:mac problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644505)


20 minutes for a 17 MB file? Duh, it's called lying.

Re:mac problem (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644468)

You could run BeOS on that 8600 and really see how fast it can go.

BeOS wouldn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644573)

BeOS didn't support the 604 series of CPUs. It only ran on the 603s.

how many times... (0)

so1omon (577498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644477)

how many times is this EXACT post going to be made before people stop responding to it? this is an ancient troll folks... move along.

and how the hell did it get moderated informative?

Re:mac problem (-1, Troll)

drgroove (631550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644496)

I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

There aren't any ...
We used Macs at the last company I worked for (kind of a reversal of the standard mac-user scenario, as I have a pc @ home).
We were on OS9 for about 18 months, then on OSX for about 6mos (I left after that).
OS9, in my experience, was the equivalent of WinME. Buggy, crashed a lot, etc.
The switch to OSX was enthusiastically welcomed by everyone, in hopes that it would resolve the issues w/ stability & performance that OS9 faced.
The trade off, of course, was performance for stability. OSX was fairly stable as an OS (although we did experience the mac version of a 'blue screen of death' - kernel panics), but the screen rendering, file transfers over the network (including downloads from the web), speed of applications, etc etc was unbearably slow. Painfully slow. Our office used 800mhz and 1ghz chips, too... at the time, 'cutting edge' for macs. My work mac was an 800mhz, w/ 256k ram - identical to my dell @ home w/ p3 800mhz & 256k ram. The dell outperforms the mac, hands down, w/ at least a 3:1 speed ratio on OS9, 4:1 (or higher) on OSX.
For what its worth, the OSX finder is more useful than the finder on OS9, but both implementations are inferior when compared to Windows Explorer, or some of the windowing systems used in Linux GUIs (gnome, kde). The OSX finder, w/ its multiple-column view, which 'jumps' everytime you select a new folder, is unintuitive for any level of user, and the constant motion of the OSX finder requires dramamine to tolerate. However, it is far and away better than the OS9 finder, where every click on a folder produces another friggin window! (unless you hold down the option key or apple key or whatever).
Really, thats just the tip of the iceberg... in my 20+ years experience w/ mac & pc computers, I haven't found one intelligent reason to use mac over pc.

Re:mac problem (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644567)

You know, the OS X Finder can be set to give the Windows Explorer-like behavior you want. In fact, isn't that the default option, as opposed to the multicolumn and OS9-like behaviors?

About the sluggishness of the screen redraws and interctivity, I agree.

odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644502)

I got one good reason, a great reason really. How about years and years on the net and not getting owned, or even having to take any special precautions? Never having your hardware bork on you? Being able to use any decent app you download without jumping through huge hoops or having it destroy something else? Getting any peripheral that says "works with a mac" and then by golly it works.

Besides that, that does seem like an excessively long time to copy that file. I don't ever recall anything like that happening to me. Now transferring from one machine to another with a printer cable, serial to serial, yes, 56k speed limitation, but on the hard drive? Something else is going on, and I can't tell you what it is. Maccentral forum question there for a more expert opinion wouldn't hurt for you.

With that said, old classic mac OS you had to set your memory by hand, I have found the default limits are always too low, it's like tiny cans of soup that say "serves four", it's just not realistic. Bump up your total RAM, max it out completely, and go around and up your application memory allotments, and only set virtual to existing physical RAM plus one meg.

Oh, the browser, don't use netscape, nyet, nein, nej, non, nope, use iCab instead, you'll be amazed how much faster it is and it uses a lot less system resources. On my much older mac than yours, only a 166 speed same 64 meg RAM, I can listen to mp3 streams (low bitrate but still live) from a net radio station and still surf adequately with iCab and using soundjam for the player, but if I switch to netscape I can't,or worse, netscape and quicktime, yech, that's a bad combo for system resource hogging. It makes that much difference picking better quality applications. And if you don't need all the features for a project that bbedit lite has, use textedit plus instead. Any time you can use a more efficient app when you are trying to multi task the better with classic OS, just is, is all.

Re:mac problem (1)

Capt. Zap (656727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644585)

Wow.. Still there? why do ou always post this mindless flame every time an apple story gets posted?

Paying more, getting less (1, Interesting)

Mainframes ROCK! (644130) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644325)

I have been a Mac user for some years and I just want to bleat that with OS X we have been paying more for a crippled and slow Finder as compared to Mac OS 9. This is the primary user interface to the computer and should have gotten as least as much attention as iTunes and those other toys. Also, what happened to AppleScript recordability of the Finder? BAH!!!!!

Locate? (4, Insightful)

luzrek (570886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644422)

Maybe this is showing my ignorance of Mac OSs, but why cannot Mac OSX simply have a graphical interface for locate? Locate looks at a database and very quickly returns all the matches (vs. searching through the whole disk). Since Mac OSX is supposed to be a close relative of NeXT this should be trivial.

Re:Locate? (1)

mbbac (568880) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644473)

People have made GUI front ends for locate.

Re:Locate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644555)

Bam [] , there you go. And that's only one of several.

Re:Locate? (1)

cbowland (205263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644570)

This depends on how frequently the locate database is updated. Obviously, any file created after the last update will not be found. I don't remember how often the updatedb command is run (I think is is weekly) but this would not serve as a replacement for the Finder. Of course, you can edit the crontab and have updatedb run more frequently, but that does not solve the problem of files created after that point (it just shortens the window).

Re:Locate? (1)

luzrek (570886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644715)

I run updatedb dayly. Also, I don't ussually forget where I just saved a file, but I'm a command prompt person. However, provided that the DB that updatedb updates is normalized, it should be pretty easy and fast to update individual entries everytime a file is added or moved. Maybe it would be faster to have a second, suplamentary database for storing short term updates. I don't think its done on file servers/default *nix systems because lots of users would mean lots of updating. For a single user system it should be practical however.

Re:Paying more, getting less (1, Interesting)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644560)

The problem is that for some reason they coded the Finder in carbon instead of cocoa. I've heard it was to show people the viability of coding in Carbon and that there was some continuity between the two systems. Whatever the reason, it wasn't a good decision IMO. I mean could you imagine how cool the finder would be if we could use Cocoa Gestures in it? Not to mention that it would be much faster. Maybe in 10.3 we'll get a cocoa Finder, thats first on my list.

Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (0, Insightful)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644336)

But one gripe I have is that they have dumped the chooser for some connect to network location thing. I may not use Macs much, but at school I have too and having to fumble about with an unfamiliar inferface when trying to get onto my shared folder is a pain. Adding to the functionality should of been a priority (it was quite restrictive imo) - not replacing it.

Re:Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644355)

The Chooser wasn't really meant to be a network tool anyway - it just kind of ended up that way after people thought "Hey, let's plug AppleShare into here!"

Re:Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (1)

adri (173121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644425)

Regardless of its origins the Chooser interface is sorely missed by just about any MacOS user I've come across.

That aside, there is gobs of room for improvement in mounting SMB shares. The interface is .. cubersome feeling. That big empty dialog box with a small drop-down box to select a share - eww. Those error _CODES_ when an SMB mount fails - double eww.

It feels like someone just slapped it on as an afterthought. ;/

Apple, if you're listening, please improve your SMB mount interface!

Re:Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (1)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644732)

Yeah the error codes can suck a cock. 'error -47' what the fuck is that?

Though honestly the far, far more annoying bug is that an smb mount failure can result in the shift key not functioning properly in Illustrator. I'm not kidding [] .

You're joking, right? (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644608)

In the Finder, press CMD-K and up pops a nice network mounting interface that shows local SMB as well as Apple servers. Way simpler than Chooser. And it actually makes sense, unlike the overloaded Chooser which was meant to choose printers back when people had, say, two choices.

Re:Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (1)

diverman (55324) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644630)

Well, I tried not to use a Mac pre-OSX, but from what I remember, I used Chooser to do something like select a printer on the network. Rendezvous has replaced the need for a user to do ANYTHING to access a printer.

It never made any sense to me why what should have been a "Finder" interface (connecting to shares...essentially a folder that's saved somewhere else) was in a burried configuration utility. Hmmm... in OSX, if I want to connect to a machine, I use the Finder now. "Go->Connect to Server". Or for you quick-key weenies (yes, I am one myself), Command-K. I always thought the Chooser to be a very unintuitive interface compared to the Finder.

Anyway... you old-Mac users really need to think about the design sometimes. As another reply to this post pointed out... Chooser just got STUCK with AppleShare. It wasn't even designed for it. And if something wasn't designed for a particular use, it often times shouldn't be there. Hmmm...where can we hack this support into?

I admit, OSX's Finder could use some improvement. Better use of extended attributes would be nice. But before OSX, I wouldn't touch a Mac if I could help it. I even preferred Linux with X-Windows for God's sake, because I could do more than one thing at a time, at the sacrafice of a pretty interface. REAL productivity people! If you are going to use that argument for a Mac, lets remain consistent to the Big Picture.


Re:Pah, cann't be bothered reading the article (2, Informative)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644637)

The Chooser for file sharing was a hacked together piece of shit. Even when they were still in OS 8 and 9, they made an app to replace the network part of it. If someone spends 5 minutes with the new Connect to Server dialog they will be used to it. Sure, if you're looking for something like the Chooser, you might not know what you *should* be looking for, but that is the case for anything that is changed between 9 and X. The Chooser was probably one of the more embarrassing things about the Mac OS, and bringing it on into OS X would have been like putting a rotary dial on a cell phone.

Honestly, if Apple *had* ported the Chooser to OS X, I think a lot of people would have pointed to that as an indicator that the Mac OS was doomed.

I can't think of a worse idea.

OS X is in its infancy (5, Informative)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644347)

I love OS X. But it is such a huge change from OS 9- that I consider it a newborn new OS albeit with a very rich parents. I think what we've seen so far is just the beginning. They had to get things to work first. Refinements will be forthcoming.

While a lot of the article is interesting -- live folders sound useful -- I'm content with the Finder. It could -- and I'm sure will -- get some tweaking but I don't find it an obstacle in my daily work.

Re:OS X is in its infancy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644393)

a newborn new OS albeit with a very rich parents

And like many rich parents they were aloof drunks who ignored their children and tried to buy their affection. As a result their children were snobbish half-wits that were convinced that they were special because of their parents legacy even though their parents were actually the worst to ever grace the planet.

I'd say that is a pretty fair description of the Mac OS. OS X is an OS that is trying to be like its parents even though its parents were awful. Intelligent people in HCI knows that Apple is way overrated. They wrote the book on HCI much like Microsoft wrote the book on good business practices.

Re:OS X is in its infancy (2, Funny)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644403)

i'm just happy that Apple implemented RFC 3514 []

its very important, and i dont understand why slashdot isnt posting it.

Re:OS X is in its infancy (1)

Kingpin (40003) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644427)

I agree 100%. I compare the development of OS X to Mozilla, after the initial production quality (10.0 and 1.0 respectively in my eyes) release, the products have just kept in getting better with astonishing speed.

Re:OS X is in its infancy (1, Troll)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644508)

OK, I admit I only skimmed the article. But, I've gone back and skimmed it again and now I think the author is an idiot.

Bookmarks - A simplified version of this feature already exists in the form for "Favorites", but it seems only natural to expand this feature to match the bookmarking facilities found in web browsers.

How is favorites different from bookmarks again?

Back/forward buttons with history - The OS X Finder already has back and forward buttons, but they lack history pop-up menus. And although the "Recent folders" menu item keeps track of a handful of past locations, it is very limited when compared with the robust history tracking found in most web browsers.

So he says the Finder needs' Back/forward buttons with history.' Then he goes on to say that is has them. His only complaint is that the history isn't long enough.

A stop button - In a browser environment, users should decide when to stop waiting for a slow network disk, or other long-running task. A folder can just be closed if the contents are taking a long time to load, but browser windows are "reusable" and should not be tied to the performance or accessibility of any single location.

This is just dumb and the web browser comparisons are going too far. How can he be criticizing the Finder for HCI problems then go on to complain that it's missing web browser features. He later claims he isn't trying to make it into a web browser yet he wants most web browser features. The confusion of the two in Winbdows and KDE is, in my opinion, one of the biggest usability disasters to hit desktops. 'Stop' does not make sense in the context of a file browser. Network drives shouldn't take a long time to browse but other ways must be found to keep the Finder from hanging.

An address bar with auto-completion - This is probably an "expert" feature, but why not add a proper address bar to the list of toolbar components? In addition to history-based auto-completion, it should also support shell-style tab-completion for file paths.

Command-Shift-G. Auto-completion and everything. Put it in the toolbar and you'll confuse the average user as well as make the Finder look more like a web browser. Leave it as it is and the 'experts' have it at their fingertips, average users don't have to even think about it.

Re:OS X is in its infancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644633)

I quite like the current finder too. That said I am currently trialing "lauchbar" which enables me to access the finder without the mouse and IS an improvement (though i also like to use the finders column view at times.) l

Re:OS X is in its infancy (3, Insightful)

groomed (202061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644650)

You are missing the point. Classic had all these things that the author is talking about -consistency, spatiality, concreteness- from the very beginning. Those weren't properties that evolved out of a process of refinement: instead they permeated the system throughout and guided every development effort, sometimes to detrimental effect: the 2-fork file concept makes it rather difficult to transmit files for example.

In any case, I agree with the author. Just to name an example, having to "associate" icons with "file types", as both Windows and Nautilus do, is a totally retarded way of doing things. One thing you could do on the Mac was click any icon on the desktop and paste in a new image from the clipboard. Because Classic MacOS files stores icons in the files themselves, this would work, always, even if you put the file on a floppy and moved it to another Mac: the file would retain its icon. This was also true for icon and window positions: thus, you could arrange icons and windows (and the icons within windows) in the way that makes the most sense, then burn a CD that preserves all this information.

The whole mess we have now with "icon databases" that maintain relationships between files and their icons is dumb and broken in comparison. Even now, as filesystems slowly are starting to acquire metadata in the form of file attributes (fifteen years after Classic MacOS), a system like Linux has yet to learn how to copy a file and actually retain the attributes on the copy.

In my more cynical moods, I sometimes think that as long as we have "minimalist" CS types telling us that "files should be flat" and that "everything should happen in userspace" we will continue to suffer schizophrenic, fractured interfaces.

Similar article Tom's Hardware(/Software I guess) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644349)

here []

A Better Finder (4, Interesting)

nf0 (214122) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644364)

As a long time user of Linux, new to the world of OS X. I've found the best finder , is just to drop in to a terminal or iTerm and do things the easy way. Command line is faster, to me anyway.

Re:A Better Finder (4, Insightful)

peter_gzowski (465076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644683)

The command line is faster if you have a good memory. And it's easier to search for and manipulate files based on their filename/size/type from the command line (assuming you have a decent shell, and a good command of regex expressions). However, if all you want to do is go a couple directories deep and copy a group of files from that directory to another, a file browswer like Konqueror is just as fast. What I think would be great is a shell that's linked to a graphical file browser. If Konsole and Konqueror were linked, such that when I typed, "cd ~/Stuff" in Konsole, Konqueror would act like I'd clicked on "~/Stuff," then I would get the power of a terminal but the easy visualization of the graphical file browser. THAT would be killer.

That twit (-1, Flamebait)

outcast341 (126789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644370)

I think his time would be better spent. Coming up with his own apps. Then spending time about how the apps already there are lacking. It just the man likes to grip about OS X.....(I hope he is not getting paid for it.

Re:That twit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644417)

I wish the same advice had been given to all of the anti-war protestors. Instead of bitching about the government and war why not come up with a better idea. The best that most of those morons can do is lie on the ground with a sign that says "Fuck Bush". That's real brilliance there. I am still waiting for somebody who can tell me how leaving Saddam in power actually promotes Peace in the Middle East.

Re:That twit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644653)

I'm still waiting for how a WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST promotes peace in the Middle East.

Buzzwords, buzzwords! (-1, Troll)

thizzlewit (646364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644386)

My Open B.S. Detector is making the most awful screeching noise.....

Stupid OSX (-1, Flamebait)

pumpkinempanada (522760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644436)

The computer crashes less often in OSX, but they gave up a lot and just stupidly left out so much. The slowness is really, really a bad thing. Also, when you open a file, you can't tell which file was created most recently! You can't list by dates. What idiot decided to leave that out? 90% of the time I open a file, I am choosing from a list of previous saves, and I know which one to open by the time on it.

Re:Stupid OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644461)

Stupid User.

See the finder?
See the 3 buttons above the word "View"?
Click the 3rd button.
Click the date column.

Re:Stupid OSX - Not really. (2, Informative)

Caleb Rutan (1996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644671)

Huh? Of course you can list by date:

Open finder. View->As List, or OpenApple-2, click 'Date Modified'.

There you go.


I may sound really stupid, but.... (4, Informative)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644451)

What the hell is a 'finder' ? I don't use Mac OSX and never used MacOS, but I constantly see people talking about the 'finder' I am very curious what is it? I use GNOME, so if you could related it to a feature of that maybe I would understand better.

What the Finder is... (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644489)

The Finder is basically a file manager. Coming from a GNOME perspective, you could think of it as performing the same role as Nautilus, or gmc before that.

Re:What the Finder is... (1)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644572)

Now you see that makes sense, because being a Nautilus user, I also understand that nothing gets more discussion/flame wars than the file manager! I guess maybe thats try of every desktop ? :)

Re:I may sound really stupid, but.... (1)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644495)

Think Nautilus. On windows, it's the "my computer"/explorer stuff.

Re:I may sound really stupid, but.... (1)

monadicIO (602882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644627)

Imagine trying to take all of the great shell command-line utilities like ls, find, grep and combine them into one gui mess.

I'm not criticising MacOS in particular, but there really are places where a GUI is just not the right thing to use.

Just a thought (1)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644734)

Or perhaps the GUI is the right thing to use, and we have the we have the wrong people developing GUI's.

Re:I may sound really stupid, but.... (3, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644725)

The finder, for those who might not have used a Mac (ie quite a lot of people I should imagine), works something like this:

Basically, it is like Explorer in Windows, or Nautilus in GNOME. It runs all the time, you cannot quit it. I think it draws the desktop. The finders default mode is column based, this is rather different to traditional file managers. Each folder "level" in the heirarchy gets a new column, starting from left to right. Clicking a folder shows a new column with the contents and a vertical scrollbar on the right. You click and scroll your way through the hard disk, rather than interacting with a tree, like in Explorer/Konqueror.

This is quite a bit different from the one in MacOS 9. My knowledge of that OS is a little rusty these days, but I think it was traditionally what is called an "object oriented" file browser, see ROX on Linux for an example. Win95 took this approach by default (in the very first releases). In this model, each window shows one folder, clicking a folder opens a new window. There is no concept of a "file manager" as such, it's an integral part of the desktop. There is no concept of pathing - although MacOS 9 did indeed have a path separator, virtually nobody knows what it is (a : character).

Normally OO browsers have a spring loaded folders implementation to make the large number of windows that can be generated with this approach more manageable, unfortunately this technique is patented by Apple which one reason why Nautilus hasn't moved to it, the GNOME guys have been thinking of possible ways around this patent, as well as other browsing metaphors.

Anyway, I digress. Basically, IIRC people have several issues with the OS X Finder beyond its design, namely that it's slow (perhaps why it doesn't use lots of new windows??) and not multithreaded, so a blocking connection or blocked device will freeze it. Window resizes are also very slow, but that's more an issue with OS X in general.

It also pretty much abandoned the OO model in favour of a navigational one, the usability merits of which are hotly debated. You can still have OO style windows of course if you want them, but I don't think that's what new users see. The first releases didn't even have spring loaded folders, pretty essential for the OO model.

Other than that, I think the Finder is really quite a nice program, though I never used it heavily. The column system is OK, it's not fantastic or anything but gets the job done. The tree widget it uses is incredibly feeble, so it's just as well. The fact that you can drag any object into the toolbars is also a nice touch, think iconic bookmarks.

Re:I may sound really stupid, but.... (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644735)

File manager/desktop manager, basically.

screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644498)

I tried to read the first 3 pages but there were
no pictures. How can an article like have have no pics (at least in the first 3 pages).

Yay the Stratus guys are here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644499)

And I can confirm that linux is not supported and never will be. (Because they'd have to open all their patents and trade secrets and stuff to make it work with the linux kernel on account of the viral GPL). They tell me, though, that they are pursuing BSD support, but theres little customer interest at this time.

Here's my story. In the middle of their little dog and pony show for the boss I used smbdie to send some bad packets and force the machine to reboot.

Ho ho ho.

100% uptime my ass.

Hee hee hee

Those boxes are cool though, and I want one.

This has nothing to do with apples. Apples bore me. Stratuses are neato-cleato, and I think we should discuss them.

Meta data may be coming (4, Interesting)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644507)

In order to support some aspects of this finder filesystem meta data must be supported in a more complete way than it is at the moment. You don't want the system to have to trawl through the tags in every MP3 file everytime it lists the folder contents (that would make it even slower :).

The filesystems used by OS X are the same ones that have been used by OS 9 for years, with the recent addition of journalling. Apple have employed the designer of the BeOS filesysem (which is widely held up as the best example of a desktop filesystem) and is keeping everything under wraps for Panther. I would expect some developments in this area to be revealed in July.

Once the meta data is in place, and people have moved over to the new filesystem, look for a more intelligent finder.

Re:Meta data may be coming (2, Interesting)

tuffy (10202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644724)

In order to support some aspects of this finder filesystem meta data must be supported in a more complete way than it is at the moment. You don't want the system to have to trawl through the tags in every MP3 file everytime it lists the folder contents (that would make it even slower :).

System-specific metadata should be left at the filesystem level (file permissions, ownership, etc.) but file-specific metadata shouldn't be moved out of the file. Keeping one's data files as one big block of data is a Good Thing, especially when transferring them around between systems or over the internet. Having said that, I do think that the OS should be willing and able to cache that info so that users can sort their mp3s by ID3 tags (for example) without a nasty performance hit.

if nothing else, (-1, Flamebait)

sstory (538486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644516)

Apple will go down in History as the people who showed that it is actually possible to make a usable OS based on Unix. Too bad they did so 20 years after Bill G mopped the floor with Unix.

Re:if nothing else, (1)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644623)

Funny, Bill G doesn't seem to have wiped the floor with Unix from my perspective. I haven't used Windows for anything but games since at least 1995. Why? Because *nicies (*nixes) are musch more usable.

Solution is a more flexible "finder" api (2, Interesting)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644537)

Perhaps OSX can take a page from the X world and to think of the interface more as a component and less as an integral part of the OS (skin the OS if you will). It would be better than the X world currently is since the "default" Apple interface would rule since most people wouldn't bother to make any substantial changes. But for those "power" users, they can either tweak it themselves or use someone elses "video editing power user interface".

The difference between this and what some people already offer would be on Apple's end. Trying to make a very good desktop alternative is often difficult because it becomes too much of a monumental task to become a true replacement. And if your app just sits on top of the original gui, often times there are many things you either can't do, or can do but in a kludgey way. If the powers that be at Apple sat down and thought of a way to provide hooks into the gui (as well as the most important thing, to make sure that functionality is separated from the gui), then doing these types of things could be much simpler as well as providing a viable market for alternative interfaces.

Mirror suits (-1, Offtopic)

netr00t (536256) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644542)

Now the only thing the enemy needs to be impervious is to wear suits that have quite a few mirrors on them to keep from getting killed. LOL

Best by comparison (1)

w3weasel (656289) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644556)

Isn't it swell that we can all imagine a perfect world? By COMPARISON, OS X has (IMHO) the quickest, simplest, and most elegant 'finder' [aka GUI] available today. All systems out there could stand some improvement, and while criticism of the sort can be constructive, wouldn't it be better to illustrate improvements rather than point out flaws?

But nautilus... (1)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644584)

Did anyone read the article and think, that with the exception of saved searches and popup folders, that they're describing nautilus?

Really, the latest from debian unstable is very very good. very good.

If Ars Technica is so concerned about usability (5, Insightful)

T1girl (213375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644629)

...why is this article in white print on a black background? ... There's a reason books and newspapers are printed in black print on a white background: IT'S EASIER TO READ.

A person who can't hold a job can always make a living as a career coach.

Re:If Ars Technica is so concerned about usability (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5644684)

It's easier to read because paper's natural state is white. Subtracting light/color gives you the text, images, whatever. A CRT's natural state is black, so you *add* light to get text, images, etc. Using white background with black text on a screen is equivalent to printing a page solid black and leaving blank spots for the text. aka - not natural. I don't care if most of the web has adopted black on white for the mainstream design - it hurts my eyes. A medium's natural state is the easiest to read.

One thing I really agree on... (4, Interesting)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644652)

OS X should handle the iPhoto Library folder (where all iPhoto JPEG images are stored) like it handles Application bundles -- instead of showing the directory structure uncut and raw, it should display the photos in an easily-navigable format. The "Live Search" feature could be useful in this regard, as OS X could have a live search folder that contains all iPhoto pictures, or possibly variations like "all photos within the last month" or "all photos within the last year". This would make it easier to peruse one's photo collection, as you wouldn't need to fire up iPhoto every time you just wanted to look at your photos. It would also make it easier to have your rotating Desktop backgrounds show your entire photo collection.

I know that the "all photos in one folder" feature could be accomplished at the command prompt by running "find ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library/* -type f -print0 | xargs -0i ln -s {} destination ", but it would be nice to have it automatically done for you by the Finder.

Vestigial Finder Remnants (1)

shmert (258705) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644660)

Honestly, I'm amazed by how little I even use the Finder in OS X. I use LaunchBar to launch all my applications (and about a million other things). I use the terminal or Project Builder to edit single text files. iPhoto to organize my pictures. iTunes to search through MP3s. locate to, well, find things. When I'm tabbing around between apps, Finder is usually one of the last things on the list. The main time I seem to use the Finder is to manage my downloaded files, or drag some new app from a disk image into the Applications folder.

It seems like a lot of the functionality that the Finder used to handle is now taken care of by indiviual, specialized apps, that know more about the files in question than the Finder does (i.e. MP3 tags, photo import batch, etc) and can manipulate the files better using that information.

In OS 9, the Finder was indispensible. In OS X, it has really become just another app. An interface for examining file system contents, dragging files around, and opening files and applications. But unlike OS 9 days, it's hard to think of much that the Finder does that can't be done using some other method. More options is a good thing.

Not to say that the Finder couldn't be improved. Maybe its pokiness and poor design is what has prompted so many to use alternative methods. But, I'm happy when the Finder just stays out of my way, which it does quite well now.

Live search folders are amazing (1)

Ececheira (86172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644681)

One of the things the article mentions are live search folders--basically folders comprised of an pregenerated search result (for which the index is automaticly updated).

This allows you to have different views of your existing data to separate the physical location from what you actually want.

Microsoft Outlook 2003 includes these search folders in it now. For example, you can have a search folder for all unread items in all folders. So if you have rules that filter your incoming mail to various foldes, you can just go to the search folder to see all unread items--and then mark them all as read there rather than having to select mark all as read for each folder.

If you want to have access to all email pertaining to a particular project, you can create a search folder to do so. The actual messages might be in your read and sent folders, and perhaps even in other public shared folders, but they'd all appear in your search folder.

Given how useful it is for Outlook, I can't imagine how useful it'd be for an entire filesystem.

Something tells me that this will be possbile in Longhorn with the new WinFS filesystem based on Yukon. It certainly will be interesting.

I beg to differ... (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644692)

To quote from the article:

Even the seemingly chaotic and messy act of "drilling down" to a deeply nested file using the Spatial Finder, double-clicking one folder after another and spawning windows like crazy, can be accomplished with comparatively little conscious thought. The user finds his way using visual cues (reinforced by the coherency and stability of the Spatial Finder) rather than by rote memorization of file paths. In the same way that you might drive a familiar route without knowing all the street names or exit numbers, the Spatial Finder user might not know the actual path of the file on disk. But like the driver, the user does not need to know all the names of the places along the way. He only needs to know where he is, and how to get there from here. In a non-spatial system, users must remember "addresses." The Spatial Finder enables users to remember locations.

Now, there is a problem with spatial locations. Specifically, I can't remember the location of EVERY HOUSE AND BUILDING IN THE F*CKING CITY. Given that I have 100GB on line, in 60,000+ documents, and piles more on tape, I can't remember each file. What I do is give each of these and ADDRESS, just like my house has an ADDRESS. We have directories (on-line and off-line) that let us retrieve the location given the address. In other words, to manage larger pieces of data, people resort to EXACTELY the scheme that OSX uses (and most other modern GUIs). Also, addresses can be manipulated symbolically. If I know the library location of a book I am interested in (in the card catalog -- another fine example), I can look for other related material.Kind of demolishes the rest of the argument.

I do wonder if some people just can't reason symbolically. If so, there should be computer (and other) interfaces for them. As to light switches, etc., switches are ok, but if you are in a large building, -or- wish to automate, you need some form of symbolic addressing for the switches. A hierarchy then makes sense (assume lights/ac/sprinklers). And you're back to paths.
So, people who CAN'T deal with the "path" interfaces should have the "direct" option, but its their own problem when trying to deal with complexity.


OS X Finder Laundry List - Please add yours. (3, Interesting)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5644706)

Too many files: Apple's Finder chokes on multiple thousands of files. If I want to put/copy/paste that many files in a folder, I damn well should be able to without the system grinding to a halt or finder crashing. I had to use 'Path Finder' ( a finder replacement, ala Windows Explorer) to handle this situation.

Renaming files: There is a delay in renaming that makes me crazy. I'll click on a file and it won't go into the rename unless I wait a moment and click again.
There is no undo for renaming. If I accidentally rename a file, I have to find the file (not easy with numbered files), find out what the original name was (could take a few minutes to never) and manually rename it. I want 'apple-z' to undo the rename. (It works for copy, paste and other finder operations.)
There is a delay in the update of windows after a file has been renamed and/or saved. This also shifts the files viewable up or down so that when I go to click on the next one, I click on the file that has somehow magically appeared under my cursor. Most annoying.

Copy/replace dialogs: There is information missing from these, that I could use to make my decision of whether or not to replace that file/s. Where is the date? It just gives me 'newer'.

Collumn view: No viewing by date, size, or anything but name. It's there in the other 'views', why can't I have it here?

Save Dialogs: Same with collumn view. I hated how the old os9 save dialog (think pagemaker - grr.) would pop up and be immovable - invaribly, I needed some info that was immediately under that window. Let me move it. Let me sort the contents by date, size, name.

Labels: If you haven't used labels, you have no idea what you missed out on. Putting a colored cast to an icon was about the most useful thing I had ever seen. I used it extensively in the short time before I moved to OS X. Now the labels are gone, still visible in some os9 apps, but unused by OS X. Nothing would allow me to find a folder in a sea of blue like one with a red sheen to it.

In fact, icons were easier to maipulate in os9 than X. It seemed I could take anything and make an icon out of it, whereas X requires more forethought and a concerted effort. This may be different now; I've stopped trying.

Pop-up folders were swell, however I don't miss them like the labels.

Lastly, Unresponsiveness and Instabillity: The Finder likes to sit for a moment and think about how it's going to perform the operation you told it to do. Copy the file, already. You've done it a million times, and you're wondering how this one is different? (pardon my anthromorphising). Recently, I had to ftp several thousand jpgs, and had to do it at home on my windows machine, since the finder choked at the prospect. "You want me to do what? Uh. I'm busy that weekend..."

Mac users should know that my widows machine said nothing, but did the requested operation with no flair at all, of course.

Apple *should* incorporate some of these features (LABELS!); they have years of a great user interface to build on. They have already impressed the hell out of me with OS X, it just needs some polishing.

Please add your thoughts.

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